Emery on when Bellerin, Tierney & Holding will start for Arsenal in the league

By on October 6, 2019

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Unai Emery has offered an update on when Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney might start for Arsenal in the Premier League after not featuring during the win over Bournemouth this afternoon.

Holding has been back playing again with the first team after recovering from a serious knee ligament injury and he successfully came through 90 minutes during the Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest before starting against Standard Liege in the Europa League last week.

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The 24-year-old is yet to play in the league this season and was an unused substitute during the 1-0 win over Bournemouth this afternoon with Sokratis and David Luiz the preferred centre-back partnership but Emery says Holding will get plenty of chances to play this season.

After recovering from a groin injury, Tierney made his first team debut with a 77-minute run out in the League Cup before coming through 90 minutes against Liege in the Europa League. The Scottish international was also an unused sub today but Emery says Tierney is ‘closer’ to playing in the league so we should see him in contention to take Sead Kolasinac’s place soon.

Bellerin is a little behind Holding and Tierney in his recovery from a knee ligament injury and after coming through 13 minutes against Forest he completed his first 90 minutes for Arsenal this season in the Europa League last week.

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The Spaniard wasn’t in the squad against Bournemouth today as Emery says he still needs more time to build-up his fitness but the club will use the international break to work with Bellerin so he’s ready to make his league return after the two-week hiatus.

Emery told Arsenal.com:

on how he’ll get Bellerin, Tierney and Holding into the defence…
It’s one process with them. Kieran and Rob are closer to playing. I think Rob Holding can play 90 minutes with a good performance. Now we are also working with David Luiz and Sokratis, but really, I am very happy. He is going to have a chance to play a lot of matches. Kieran Tierney is closer to us, he played on Thursday and today he was on the bench if we needed him. Hector Bellerin needs a little more time, more matches and more training. This international break is going to be important for him. I think he will be closer to starting for us in the next matches in the Premier League.

Tierney and Holding are now fully fit and in contention for first team places but hopefully Bellerin continues to build on his fitness and then put himself in the frame to start against Sheffield United after the international break.

It’s a major boost for Arsenal to have the three defenders available again so the Gunners will be looking to push-on after the break and cement their position in the top four after moving up to third with today’s win over Bournemouth.

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